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Sector Food

Food & Livelihoods








people impacted

Current as at December 2021. Please note projects often have more than one focus area. The project participant figures are from the 2020-21 year.

Agriculture, organic kitchen gardens and livelihood training

Across the world, one in every eleven people goes to bed hungry.

It’s not just those living in war-torn or drought-affected places. Many of them are families who have farmed the same land for generations, some have small plots of land but the soil is poor, others have no way to store food to last through the ‘hungry season’. For these farmers, food insecurity and low production is not only affecting their children’s health, it’s a missed opportunity to earn a living.

Sector Food 2

Turning this around to enable farmers to make the most of their crops takes an investment in time, and a few experimental attempts, but generates a bumper-crop outcome. Because Tearfund’s Christian partners make long-term commitments to communities, their staff are able to monitor the local conditions which have led to food insecurity, and community members have time to work together to develop the most appropriate responses.

This might mean setting up a ‘model’ organic farm, showcasing new techniques with different varieties of seed, or it might mean enlisting the cooperation of farmers willing to take a risk to trial something new. Setting up Farmers’ Groups is another effective way to enable people to share what works, purchase in bulk, learn new ideas, and support one another through hard times. From digging trenches for irrigation, grafting fruit trees for improved disease resistance, setting up worms farms and building rice storage banks, farming is better when the whole community helps.

With the right support, farming can be for everyone, as Tearfund’s Christian partners open up opportunities for people with disability, women and people without land to produce their own food. Chicken farming and hydroponics can prove wonderful income generators for people with limited mobility, and project involving female farmers have often had enormous success with women who start cooperative farms and share the workload - and the profits. Looking out for organic agricultural opportunities is one of the benefits of a community-focused program, as staff look to draw those at the margins of society towards social and economic inclusion.

Jacinta Holder, Bangladesh
Jacinta Holder has turned her new land into a productive garden through the use of vermi-compost.

“Morning and evening I'm coming to the garden.”

Bangladeshi woman Jacinta Holder is proud of her thriving vegetable patch. “I feel very pleased every day,” she says. “Morning and evening I'm coming to the garden.” With support from Tearfund’s partner Bangladesh Association for Sustainable Development (BASD), Jacinta, a mother of two girls, turned her land into a productive garden. BASD works with Self-Help Groups and runs kitchen garden training in her community.

Jacinta learnt how to improve her soil by using vermi-compost and now has a successful crop of okra, jute, beans, stem amaranth and cucumber. She is able to sell excess produce for a small profit to help cover her family’s needs.

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Livelihoods and Food Security - Impact Report

Read the report